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Tips for Keeping the Family Entertained on a Staycation Roadtrip

With many families choosing to stay in the UK this year rather than holidaying abroad and looking to what this country has to offer for days out and short or longer breaks, a few hours spent in the car with everyone as you travel to your destination perhaps isn’t always as harmonious as you imagined it could be? If you’ve got children or teenagers, plenty of luggage and perhaps even a family pet or two along for the ride, it can really pay off to be prepared with a few fun activities to keep the passengers occupied while you’re on the road.

We’ve compiled some top tips for things to do which will hopefully minimise the “are we nearly there yet?” factor on your next long car journey!

Play the Alphabet Game

Great for older children, with this game you choose a category (such as types of animal, countries, names, foods etc) that start with the letter A, and work your way around the car, with everyone coming up with an answer; then you move onto the letter B, then C etc.

Another great alphabet game is to give everyone a piece of paper and a pen with letters A-Z written in a list format, then they have to fill in things they see on the journey that start with that letter. Add an element of competition (if that’s a motivating factor for your family) by giving out a prize for the participant with most things on their list at the end of the journey.

Tablets or portable media players

When family members can’t agree with what they want to play or watch together, sometimes it’s not a bad idea for passengers to choose their own entertainment (ideally each with their own headphones) if they each have a tablet or another portable media device that they can watch videos on, read a book on or play games on.

Some people do experience motion sickness when reading or watching things in the car, so it’s always good to have some backup activities if this type of entertainment doesn’t work for your family.

I-Spy

Ok, so it’s not exactly a new one… but I-Spy has been the car journey game of choice for many generations – so, why not the next one too?

Participants try to choose the most obscure thing they can see, either inside or outside of the car, and everyone else has to guess what it is from the first letter. For younger children who aren’t quite at the letters stage, you can name the colour of the item rather than the first letter.

Number Plate Name Game

With the current registration plate system used in the UK, the last three digits are letters. Each participant can take turns to make up a first, middle and surname for an imaginary person, with the first letters matching the last three of a car registration plate they can see at the time. You can make it more challenging by adding a category e.g. must be a French-sounding name, or different parts of the name must be a certain number of syllables long. If you have particularly creative passengers, you can also get them to suggest a back-story for their character e.g. their job, age, hobbies etc.

Name That Tune

Put your phone/streaming music service or playlist on shuffle and whoever can shout out the name of each new song first (and the artist, if you want to make it more difficult) gets a point. If your car has a display that shows information when a new song comes on, remember to cover this before you play to make it fairer.

Word Stories

Someone starts a story with a single word, the next person adds the next word etc until the story takes shape – and probably ends up somewhere you never thought it would! You can make it more challenging by banning the use of words that start with a certain letter so everyone has to think a bit harder.

20 Questions

An oldie but a goodie, you need to think of a famous person that everyone in the family will know and the rest of the car have 20 questions in order to find out who it is. The person being questioned can only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Rhyme Time

Someone picks a word and everyone else in the car suggests other words that rhyme with it – with no repeats or long pauses allowed. The person with the most rhyming words found gets to choose the next word.

The Silent Game

Not sure if you’ll get away with this more than once, but the silent game means that everyone in the car has to be completely silent and the first one to speak is ‘out’. The one who lasts longest can get a prize if some incentive is needed!

Car Bingo

Before you set off, come up with a long list of things you’re likely to see on your journey (e.g. cows, sheep, a Range Rover, a yellow car, an Eddie Stobart lorry etc) and print one-off for everyone. Passengers can tick off the list as they see things and the winner is the person who finishes first or finds the most by the end of the journey.

We hope that we’ve given you some ideas for family fun on long car journeys that will help to pass the time and keep everyone entertained for at least some of the drive.

It’s important before you set off on a long journey, especially if your car hasn’t been used much over the last few months, that you check the tyres are roadworthy and at optimum pressure, that the fluid levels are all fine and that you have a plan if you do experience any car issues.

If your car is due a service, Hatfields are open and taking bookings for routine car maintenance at our centres. Find your closest Hatfields Service Centre to book your vehicle in before you take your next family trip away.